"check out performances that inspire me by British artist Tom Chapman."
Modern Drummer Magazine
"Tom Chapman is here to show you what the cajón is really capable of."
"Some of the most inventive percussion you're ever likely to hear"
R2 (Rock 'n' Reel) Magazine
"Mr Chapman is just impossibly funky, hands and feet knocking
out grooves so deep you wonder he doesn't fall through the stage."
"Tom has given our current project so much - brilliant, imaginative playing."
Dave Hewson, EMI Production Music
"A blistering percussion solo with Tom Chapman doing things with a Cajon that shouldn’t be possible is just the icing on the cake."
Bright Young Folk
"Masterful cajón playing."
"Pioneering in the cajonero role in Europe."
Paolo De Gregorio, Cajón De Gregorio
Tom Chapman is hailed as one of the most innovative percussionists in the UK. Well ahead of the curve in the early 2000's, Tom took inspiration from the cajoneros of the world to become one of the first UK musicians to adopt the cajón as a serious first instrument. Whilst studying for a jazz degree, which he received with first class honours, Tom integrated his instant new favourite instrument into the hybrid drum kit and hand percussion set up that has become his trademark. Within a year of taking up the cajón, he was featured in the first ever documentary about the global spread of the instrument, "Los Caminos Del Cajon" alongside some of his heroes including Miguel Anga Diaz, Zakir Hussain, Hamid Drake, Stewart Copeland and many more.
Tom met Joe Broughton at Birmingham Conservatoire in 2003 and forged a musical partnership that endures to this day in their full-time band The Urban Folk Quartet, who have appeared at concerts and festivals across the world. He has also shared stages and appeared on record with a diverse range of artists, including Joss Stone, The Violent Femmes, Cerys Matthews, Roby Lakatos, Dave Swarbrick, Neil Yates, Chris While and Fairport Convention to name a few. An experienced session musician, he has worked on recordings with several well known musicians on the folk scene as well as providing drums and percussion for commercial and production music sessions, most recently working with EMI. Tom is also an in-demand swing drummer.
2018 sees Tom joining Jacqui McShee, Kevin Dempsey and Mike Piggott to play Pentangle material, opening for Steeleye Span at some of the bigger gigs on their October tour.
When not busy performing, Tom takes time for select educational projects and has been active in large-scale projects with Music For Youth, culminating in his leading mass multi-disciplinary percussion sections in performances by bands of around 700 young people each during The Schools Prom at The Royal Albert Hall. He also contributed two series of his video tuition column "Approaches To Contemporary Cajón," to iDrum Magazine. An excerpt of the first lesson is available to view on the home page. Tom has given masterclasses, workshops and performances at universities, conservatoires and schools across the UK and in Europe and is a visting lecturer at The University Of Chester. He also teaches cajón in person and via skype.
Tom is proud to have built up a relationship with Paolo De Gregorio and Cajon De Gregorio, for whom he is an endorser. Nobody knows more about the cajón than Paolo De Gregorio, a master craftsman with an incredible dedication to the culture of the instrument. Tom is also an Istanbul Agop Cymbals artist and endorses Ahead Armor Cases.
Regular guest projects: Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar, The Jim Wynn Swing Orchestra, Swingtet and Trio, The Folk Ensemble.
"Chapman's contribution, often on the cajon – the box, originally from Peru, that can speak several different languages in the hands of a master – stirs enthusiasm... The man on South America's answer to the bodhrán – get him installed immediately in the Folk Music Percussionists' Hall of Fame, alongside Dave Mattacks, Terry Cox... Give it a listen; you'll believe a box can talk."
The Living Tradition